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Playhouse repair bill pricey

Fixing the Prince George Playhouse isn’t going to be cheap.

On December 4, 2020, during a serious storm, a portion of the stucco cladding on the Playhouse fell off onto the lower roof and nearby ground. Upon preliminary inspection, staff discovered extensive building envelope rot at the failure that was beyond minimal repair. Subsequent to the building envelope failure, a local contractor was employed to provide interim repairs and a building envelope specialist was procured to perform a condition assessment of the envelope with a focus on the condition of the exterior walls and a general visual review of windows, doors and roofs. The assessment included exploratory openings and moisture probing at select locations.

A report going to city council tonight outlines the cost for some interim measures and future full building and surrounding site renewal requirements.

The good news? Interim temporary repair will cost $230,000, of which $90,000 has already been spent. This would include repair of current cladding failure on the west elevation of the fly tower. This repair will not match existing but will be weather proof.

The bad news? Building and site renewal, icluding  a rigging system upgrade ($271,500) future building envelope ($4,500,000), future replacement of three roof top HVAC units ($670,000), and a new parking lot ($1,500,000), will top $7.1 million.

Add in ongoing operating costs, theatre equipment upgrades, and ongoing maintenance and the price tag tops $8.1 million.

Blake McIntosh, acting director civic operations is recommending council authorize “temporary repairs where the wall cladding failed. Fencing will be kept around the tower to keep people a safe distance away in the event that a future envelope failure occurs. It is also recommended that the rigging system upgrade be completed to improve safety and support theatrical events at this venue.”

Total cost of these recommendations is $501,500.

He also recommends the temporary facade repairs and the theatrical rigging upgrade be added to the 2021 – 2025 Capital Financial Plan and funded from community works fund and will be completed in 2021. Further planning in support of an overall performing arts strategy will be necessary to determine if the current playhouse will require dedicated reinvestment funds directed to the building and site renewal.

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